Posted by : atcampbell | On : July 18, 2016

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The club met on July 18th, 2016, to discuss Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Nine members attended. Eight had read the author previously, eight had started the book and six finished it, three had read the book electronically. The book was released in 2015 and is on this year’s Hugo Ballot for Best Novel.

Every member who had started the book enjoyed the first sentence of  the novel. Neal Stephenson is a favorite of many of the reading group members over the years and the method of reading his books on an electronic device was often easier than carrying around a physical copy of said book due to the size and length of other of his novels.

As we each discussed what we like and did not like about the novel several themes became apparent:

• A heavier hand was needed by the novel’s editor. There were too many details that seemed to drag the novel down.

• We all enjoyed the Morse Code used as a communication tool, a very nice touch to previous methods of communication.

• The Seven Eves was an interesting idea, but many thought twelve would have made for a better population mix.

• We all had extremely high standard for the author and many of us felt let down. The first part of the book was enjoyable, the second and third parts of the novel not as much.

• We discussed the use of predisposed genetics and spoke at length about the need for genetic diversity when recreating new populations.

All members who had read Stephenson previously agreed they would likely read his new works again. His consistent high standards for the written word have made for previous enjoyable reading.

Afterwards eight of us went across the street to La Mancha for a Tex-Mex dinner and other conversations.

— Karen Meschke